Ezekiel tells the parable of the boiling pot. His wife dies. It symbolizes the destruction of the temple and the slaughter of Jerusalem.
VERSE 1. Again, in the ninth year, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, the LORD’s word came to me, saying,
ninth year … tenth month … tenth day. This was January 15, 588 BC. It was a day of calamity, as we see in the next verse.
VERSE 2. “Son of man, write the name of the day, this same day. The king of Babylon drew close to Jerusalem this same day.
The king of Babylon drew close. On the day mentioned in verse 1 above, the king of Babylon besieged Jerusalem.
This was the day Ezekiel had been pointing to for over four years.
VERSE 3. Utter a parable to the rebellious house, and tell them, ‘The Lord GOD says, “Put the cauldron on the fire. Put it on, and also pour water into it.
the cauldron. That is, “cooking pot.”
Some of the leaders had used the metaphor of a cooking pot to give Jerusalem false hope. The idea was: Jerusalem is a cooking pot. You are safe inside.
But Ezekiel prophesies that the cooking pot would be their place of destruction.
VERSE 4. Gather its pieces into it, even every good piece: the thigh and the shoulder. Fill it with the choice bones.
VERSE 5. Take the choice of the flock, and also a pile of wood for the bones under the cauldron. Make it boil well. Yes, let its bones be boiled within it.”
VERSE 6. “ ‘Therefore the Lord GOD says: “Woe to the bloody city, to the cauldron whose rust is in it, and whose rust hasn’t gone out of it! Take out of it piece after piece. No lot is fallen on it.
Woe to the bloody city. That is, “Woe to the city of bloodshed.”
whose rust hasn’t gone out of it. Jerusalem was as unappealing as rusty scum floating on the surface of a meal being cooked. The meal was ruined by the rusty scum, and so the contents of the pot were dumped.
VERSE 7. “ ‘ “For her blood is in the middle of her. She set it on the bare rock. She didn’t pour it on the ground, to cover it with dust.
She didn’t pour it on the ground. Jerusalem had shed innocent blood and had not even bothered to hide those crimes. Because Jerusalem had openly shed the blood of others, God would openly shed the blood of Jerusalem on the bare rock.
VERSE 8. That it may cause wrath to come up to take vengeance, I have set her blood on the bare rock, that it should not be covered.”
VERSE 9. “ ‘Therefore the Lord GOD says: “Woe to the bloody city! I also will make the pile great.
VERSE 10. Heap on the wood. Make the fire hot. Boil the meat well. Make the broth thick, and let the bones be burned.
Boil the meat well. The meat in the pot was to be cooked “well done.” This pictures the slaughter of Jerusalem by the Babylonian Empire.
VERSE 11. Then set it empty on its coals, that it may be hot, and its bronze may burn, and that its filthiness may be molten in it, that its rust may be consumed.
her great rust, rust by fire, doesn’t leave her. The LORD God had tried to cleanse his people from their impurities but they resisted all such efforts.
VERSE 13. “ ‘ “In your filthiness is lewdness. Because I have cleansed you and you weren’t cleansed, you won’t be cleansed from your filthiness any more, until I have caused my wrath toward you to rest.
VERSE 14. I, the LORD, have spoken it. It will happen, and I will do it. I won’t go back. I won’t spare. I won’t repent. According to your ways, and according to your doings, they will judge you,” says the Lord GOD.’ ”
they will judge you. The LORD God’s mercy prompts him to withhold judgment as long as possible to enable people to repent. But he does not wait indefinitely. A time comes when he punishes wickedness.
VERSE 15. Also the LORD’s word came to me, saying,
VERSE 16. “Son of man, behold, I will take away from you the desire of your eyes with a stroke: yet you shall neither mourn nor weep, neither shall your tears run down.
NLT translation. Son of man, with one blow I will take away your dearest treasure. Yet you must not show any sorrow at her death. Do not weep; let there be no tears.
I will take away your dearest treasure. Ezekiel’s dearest treasure was his wife.
They had a close an intimate relationship. She was his “dearest treasure.” For Ezekiel, everything else was secondary to his wife.
In our day, many of our cherished church leaders place their wife at a very low priority. While they do not state that directly, it is apparent when considering their words.
That was not the case for Ezekiel, nor for any authentic Man of God.
yet you shall neither mourn nor weep. The LORD God told Ezekiel to not lament or weep or shed any tears. He was to not mourn. He had to keep his personal feelings of loss bottled up inside.
VERSE 17. Sigh, but not aloud. Make no mourning for the dead. Bind your headdress on you, and put your sandals on your feet. Don’t cover your lips, and don’t eat mourner’s bread.”
VERSE 18. So I spoke to the people in the morning; and at evening my wife died. So I did in the morning as I was commanded.
I spoke to the people in the morning. Ezekiel prophesied the death of his own wife.
tell us what these things are to us. The people realized these events had national significance
VERSE 20. Then I said to them, “The LORD’s word came to me, saying,
VERSE 21. ‘Speak to the house of Israel, “The Lord GOD says: ‘Behold, I will profane my sanctuary, the pride of your power, the desire of your eyes, and that which your soul pities; and your sons and your daughters whom you have left behind will fall by the sword.
I will profane my sanctuary. Ezekiel explained that the death of his wife symbolized the destruction of God’s temple and the slaughter of the people of Jerusalem.
the desire of your eyes. They would lose Jerusalem.
VERSE 22. You will do as I have done. You won’t cover your lips or eat mourner’s bread.
VERSE 23. Your turbans will be on your heads, and your sandals on your feet. You won’t mourn or weep; but you will pine away in your iniquities, and moan one toward another.
Your turbans will be on your heads. Ezekiel and his fellow Jewish people wore turbans.
You won’t mourn or weep. The magnitude of the destruction would render all grief inadequate.
moan one toward another. When Jerusalem fell everyone was in anguish because everyone was affected.
VERSE 24. Thus Ezekiel will be a sign to you; according to all that he has done, you will do. When this comes, then you will know that I am the Lord GOD.’ ” ’ ”
VERSE 25. “You, son of man, shouldn’t it be in the day when I take from them their strength, the joy of their glory, the desire of their eyes, and that whereupon they set their heart, their sons and their daughters,
VERSE 26. that in that day he who escapes will come to you, to cause you to hear it with your ears?
VERSE 27. In that day your mouth will be opened to him who has escaped, and you will speak, and be no more mute. So you will be a sign to them. Then they will know that I am the LORD.”
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.